In the dystopian society in which Equality lives, the nuclear family no longer exists. Male and females are chosen to mate together once a year in the spring only. The babies born after the 'Time of Mating' are sent to dormitories where they are raised together with other babies born at the same time. The other babies become their family as they grow up; however, since friendship and love are not permitted in the society, it really isn't a family unit. They are just acquaintances who grow together, attend school together, and march to nightly meetings together. It is prohibited to have preferences such as friends. In this society, the collective "we" is more important than the individual; therefore, the group becomes your family; your brothers and sisters are your fellow man and not blood relatives.